Dear Niner Nation:
This year marks my 21st year at UNC Charlotte, the last 15 during which I’ve had the great privilege to serve as your chancellor. While we’ve experienced exponential growth and many changes during that time, one thing has remained constant: the selfless and unwavering support of Niner Nation, especially in challenging times. It is during situations like these that I am always reminded of the pride I feel to be part of the 49er family.
Since COVID-19 has impacted our daily lives, many of you have reached out to see how you can help. In the weeks and months ahead, some of our students will face new and overwhelming challenges related to this pandemic, such as affording housing, transportation, food, medical expenses, and access to necessary resources needed for remote learning. We also know that many alumni and some of our employees could be faced with unforeseen economic hardships.
I wanted to share what the University is doing and ways you can support our Niner family.
Emergency Fund for Students
The UNC Charlotte Emergency Relief Fund helps current students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable emergency expenses, including pandemics.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of two of our alumni, the Demond and Kia Martin Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar gifts made to the Emergency Fund up to $100,000. Demond ‘97 and Kia ‘98 are longtime supporters of the University, and I remain grateful for their continued altruistic support of our students. Currently enrolled students can apply for an Emergency Fund grant via this website. Please consider donating to the Emergency Fund to help our Niners during this difficult time.
Jamil Niner Student Food Pantry
The Jamil Niner Student Pantry provides assistance to UNC Charlotte students who struggle with food insecurities, helping ensure that every student has access to nutritious food. During this time, the on-campus pantry remains open for students, utilizing a web order form to maximize social distancing. The staff bags the groceries and hands them to students so they don’t have to shop in the pantry. A contribution of $50 to the Jamil Niner Food Pantry provides seven lunches and a $100 donation will feed one student dinner all week.
Free E-Textbooks Available to Students
To help facilitate the transition to online learning, Barnes & Noble College and VitalSource have made free e-books available for the remainder of the semester.
Student and Family Resources
Many of our business and community partners have graciously offered to extend discounts on products and services to our students and their families during this time. You can always access the most up-to-date list here.
Our alumni are always a part of Niner Nation and the University Career Center is available, free for life. Our virtual center is available to provide individual coaching sessions, small group discussions and just-in-time service.
"Hire-A-Niner" is always important, but now more than ever. If your organization is hiring part-time or full-time employees, or looking for an intern, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help share these opportunities with our candidate pool.
UNC Charlotte offers employees experiencing economic difficulties access to emergency loans up to $250. Donations to the emergency loan fund can be made via the UNC Charlotte giving website. The North Carolina State Health Plan has also made some changes to further assist employees during this time, including the elimination of any co-pay requirement for COVID-19 testing.
The days and weeks ahead will test our collective strength, but we have shown time and time again that our Niner Nation community always rises to a challenge. As 49ers, demonstrating our values — social and cultural diversity, free expression, collegiality, integrity, and mutual respect — has never been more important. This public health crisis will not be solved with fear and discrimination; it will be solved by our diverse global community rising together in solidarity, support, and compassion.
Let’s do our part, Niners.
Philip L. Dubois